In a season filled with misfortune, nothing – not even wind, rain, or a late caution – could prevent Layne Riggs from going to victory lane in the Solid Rock Carriers 150 at Carteret County Speedway (NC) and claiming its $15,000 payday.
The 16-year-old from Bahama, North Carolina led from wire to wire in the 150-lap Limited Late Model feature, on a breezy night as Tropical Depression Three lurked off the Atlantic Coast, scoring redemption after heartbreak at this track two weeks ago in the CARS Response Energy Tour.
In that race, a late-race incident with Josh Berry relegated Riggs to the rear of the field. Tonight, there would be no such incident, as Riggs took the checkered flag ahead of Mini Tyrrell.
“I really feel like we’ve been on a losing streak lately,” Riggs told Speed51.com. “We’ve just not had the best luck lately. We finally got the luck. We worked our tails off in the shop all week trying to get everything perfect.”
The win was not without a moment of drama for Riggs. The caution flew on lap 144 for an incident involving Jonathan Kornegay. The caution flew just as mist descended on the facility, adding an extra wrinkle to the late restart.
The initial restart attempt was waved off, as Tyrrell beat Riggs to the line. The second attempt counted, and Riggs cleared Tyrrell off turn two to hold on to the lead for the win.
“They said he was coming,” Riggs said about Tyrrell. “They said he was strong, that he was probably the only contender. It started sprinkling rain. It was slick. That was the only part of the race where I slid the tires. It was slippery out there.
“When the caution came out with six to go, my heart sunk,” Riggs continued. “I was just hoping third-place wouldn’t get into me or nobody would try to dump me for 15 grand. Really proud of everybody on the team, all the competitors for running me clean, the lapped cars gave me room.”
Tyrrell acknowledged he jumped the initial restart on lap 144 but was happy to come home with a second-place finish in a big-money Limited Late Model race.
“We jumped it there, and they threw the caution,” Tyrrell said about the aborted restart. “It was obviously too much. I tried. We got right there but just couldn’t execute.
“He had great acceleration off the corners,” Tyrrell said about Riggs. “He had an amazing car all night. I think he was definitely the car to beat. Still, I’m very happy with our result.”
Michael Tilley, Brandon Clements and Clay Jones completed the top five for the richest Limited Late Model race in the world.
-Story by Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Solid Rock Carriers 150 Unofficial Results
Carteret County Speedway (NC) - July 7, 2018